Parker was a precocious child who loved to play the piano.
Then one day, she wasn’t.
It was frustrating. She went from playful to pessimistic in a matter of weeks.
I was flummoxed.
How had she suddenly become difficult? It didn’t matter what I said, she didn’t want to do it.
I needed something persuasive.
I took ten $1 Music Money bills and put them on the piano.
“Parker,” I said, “These are yours to keep.”
“Or yours to lose.”
She looked concerned.
“Every time you say something negative, you’ll lose a dollar. If you make it through the entire lesson without saying something like ‘Oh, that’s looks HARD’ or ‘I don’t think I can do that’ then you’ll have $10.”
“Pretty cool!” she said.
“But if I hear you say anything negative, like ‘I don’t think I can do that’ you’ll lose a dollar.”
“OK!” she said positively.
I pulled out a new piece.
She eyed it suspiciously.
“That looks…” (She started to say ‘way too hard’ – but stopped herself.)
“That looks…challenging.” Big grin. “And I LIKE a challenge!”
In my studio, when someone becomes a bit negative, I use Parkerization. I use it whenever I need to show a student just how negative they’ve become without turning them even MORE negative.
Once I had another student request it.
“Diane,” she said, frustrated. “I think I need to be Parkerized!”
Perhaps one of your students could benefit from a little Parkerization?
Nightingale from Attention Grabbers Book Two.
The sweet piece “Nightingale” is dedicated to Parker. It’s in Attention Grabbers Book Two. It’s a piece designed to sound like it uses pedal, but doesn’t actually use the pedal until the last two measures.